Bill would let NYC restaurants add 15% surcharge to pay workers full minimum wage
Would you pay an extra 15% surcharge the next time you went out to eat if it meant a full minimum wage for restaurant workers? That soon may be a reality.
A new bill working its way through the City Council would mean restaurants need to pay workers a full minimum wage so workers do not need to rely on extra tips.
To make up for the cost, establishments could slap on a 15% surcharge to customers.
Saru Jayaraman has been researching restaurant worker trends for two decades.
"In the last decade, it has become clear that the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers with a legacy of slavery," she said.
Jayaraman points to her organization's survey of 450 service workers, saying 59% of them reported their tips declining by at least 50% since the pandemic. Two thirds of respondents say a full, stable living wage would make them stay in the industry.
Some News 12 viewers say the surcharge is a bad idea, while others say it is OK if the fee goes toward workers, but they doubt it will.
A date for the final City Council vote will be announced soon.